CAMPAIGN: CINEMA ON DEMAND

The documentary film DIE KINDER DER UTOPIE achieved something unique on the German market: With a clear strategy, director Hubertus Siegert succeeded in creating the first successful German cinema on demand film: “In one evening, Siegert turns cinemas across Germany into a ‘place of experience’.”

The principle of cinema on demand is easy to explain: there must be a sufficient number of people interested in a particular film of their choice and reserve cinema tickets. In this way, cinemas are convinced to include the desired film in their program.

Efforts and attempts in this direction were made as early as the early 2000s. The online platforms Gokino.ch, among others, tried to implement cinema on demand in Switzerland, but with little success. In 2016, the film magazine Celluloid Junkie declared the cinema on demand concept to have failed.

The feature documentary CHILDREN OF UTOPIA proved the opposite in 2019. Hubertus Siegert looked for strong partners for his project: the campaigner Ben Kempas, the inclusion activist Raul Krauthausen and the journalist Susanne Bauer. Ben Kempas made it possible with outstanding film campaign experience and a software, which is also used in the US election campaign and which complies with the highest data protection criteria, to record interested parties, to channel them and to forward pre-registrations to the cinemas. As a multiplier, Raul Krauthausen was able to reach and activate the relevant target groups – and Susanne Bauer provided the journalistic background and extensive social media skills. Finally, the association mittendrin e.V. joined in and provided extensive support for the campaign.

Siegert’s plan worked: the film ran in one evening in 170 cinemas in Germany, supported by 1,000 volunteers, reached over 20,000 moviegoers and is one of the most successful German documentaries in 2019.

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Because it was part of the class system, it was more accepted that there are different speeds in learning. This acceptance is important. That wasn’t the case later on anymore.”
Christian

“As a result of my studies, I am now very much confronted with the topics of travesty, transsexuality and homosexuality. That was something that was alien to me. And if I hadn’t been a student in an inclusion class, I could imagine that I would have had problems with it.”
Dennis

Siegert’s plan worked: the film ran in one evening in 170 cinemas in Germany, supported by 1,000 volunteers, reached over 20,000 moviegoers and is one of the most successful German documentaries in 2019.

The success story in detail:

2016







2018











2019

Hubertus Siegert shoots the film CHILDREN OF UTOPIA and portrays former pupils of the inclusive Fläming elementary school: people with and without disabilities who shared school, were already protagonists of the film CLASS LIFE (2005) and meet again in front of the camera for the new film.
Siegert renounces film funding from the outset in order to be able to implement his plans without conditions: to bring the film to the cinema with a special campaign.


At the beginning of the year, Siegert meets Ben Kempas, Raul Krauthausen and Suse Bauer – and begins with specific preparations for the campaign.
More supporters and donors will join in the course of the year:
– Aktion Mensch
– SAP
– DATEV
– the Bertelsmann Foundation
– the Randstadt Foundation
and the association mittendrin e.V from Cologne.
The campaign website will start in November with articles on inclusion and the opportunity to register as an interested party or supporters for the film.


The campaign is picking up: by the day of the campaign on May 15, 2019 there will be over 1,000 volunteers, the cinema events – i.e. Discussions and expert rounds – organizing after the film.

More and more interest in the film is being expressed on social media channels, and after all there are thousands of advance registrations on the campaign website.

The film will celebrate its world premiere on May 12, 2019 at the International Dok.fest in Munich, followed by a live discussion on the internet.

The campaign day on May 15th will be an overwhelming success: One cinema hall after the other reports on social media: “Sold out!”. Over 20,000 cinema-goers across Germany experience the film DIE KINDER DER UTOPIE. The film is the third most successful film in the German cinema charts that evening – right after Avengers: Endgame and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.


Raul Krauthausen looks back on the campaign: DIE KINDER DER UTOPIE – ein Inklusionsabenteuer (German)
Ben Kempas ‘campaign agency about the success: Our Biggest Campaign Yet (English)